(a) Criminal penalties. -- Any person, firm, association or corporation violating any of the provisions of this article, or of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to the provisions thereof, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars for the first offense, and not less than four hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars for the second and subsequent offenses. Magistrates have concurrent jurisdiction with circuit courts to enforce the provisions of this article.
(b) Civil penalties. -- (1) Any person violating a provision of this article or any rule or regulation adopted hereunder may be assessed a civil penalty by the commissioner. In determining the amount of any civil penalty, the commissioner shall give due consideration to the history of previous violations of the person, the seriousness of the violation, and the demonstrated good faith of the person charged in attempting to achieve compliance with this article before and after written notification of the violation; (2) the commissioner may assess a penalty of not more than two hundred dollars for each first offense, and not more than one thousand dollars for a second and subsequent offense; and (3) the civil penalty is payable to the state of West Virginia and is collectible in any manner now or hereafter provided for collection of debt. If any person liable to pay the civil penalty neglects or refuses to pay the same, the amount of the civil penalty, together with interest at ten percent, is a lien in favor of the state of West Virginia upon the property, both real and personal, of such a person after the same has been entered and docketed to record in the county where such property is situated. The clerk of the county, upon receipt of the certified copy of such, shall enter same to record without requiring the payment of costs as a condition precedent to recording.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner may promulgate and adopt rules which permit consent agreements or negotiated settlements for the civil penalties assessed as a result of violation of the provisions of this article.
(d) No state court may allow for the recovery of damages for any administrative action taken if the court finds that there was probable cause for such action.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
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